The origin of Edam cheese is in the Netherlands, but it is also made in other countries. There are many variations of this cheese produced, especially in respect of the fat content. i.e., 30, 40, 45 and 50% fat in dry matter. The milk used must be standardized for fat content. Typical examples are
- 30% fat content cheese: milk should have 1.6% fat
- 40% fat content cheese: milk should have 2.6% fat
- 45% fat content cheese: milk should have 3.0% fat
Rind : The rind is smooth, even thin. During ripening, it may become gray - green with mould. For sale, the cheese is coated with polyvinyl acetate.
Curd : Ivory white to yellowish in color with dull cut surface.
Texture : Elastic, pliant, softer than that of Gouda cheese. Gas holes are few, round to oval in shape and the size will be of pea.
Flavor and aroma : Milky, not acidic and most of the time it will be clean flavor.
Milk : Due to high pH of the cheese, the hygienic quality of milk should be high.
Heat treatment : Milk is heat treated, High Temperature Short Time is the method followed at 71.6°C for 15-30 seconds, then chilled to 30°C and still lower temperature in summer.
Additives : 0.02% Calcium chloride and 0.005-0.02% sodium nitrate are added as additives.
Starter : 0.5 – 1% starter culture is added at 30°C and allowed to be ripened for 20-30 minutes. Acidity developed during this period would be 0.155 – 0.165% of lactic acid.
Rennet : Power rennet at the rate of 2.7 – 3.0g, or rennet extract at 18-22ml per 100 liters milk is added. Temperature of incubation is between 30 and 31°C. Curd will become firm to cut in about 30 minutes.
Cutting : The curd is cut into 1 cm cubes and stirred well to float them in the whey.
Stirring : Stirring is done gently for 15-30 minutes. Then the curd is allowed to settle and half of the whey is drained off.
Scalding : The curd is stirred while adding hot water at a temperature of 50-60°C to approximate original liquid level. Alternatively hot water may be sprayed over the curd to give a final temperature of 36-37°C. Because of this, the acidity of the whey is reduced 0.07-0.09%. Stirring is continued until the curd is firm and pH is 6.0-6.1. Then it is allowed to pitch.
Whey off : Flat plates are placed to consolidate the curd. He remaining whey is drained.
Moulding :Specially designed moulds are lined with cloth. The curd is suitably cut or milled to fit the size of moulds. The mould is filled and top portion of the curd is now ready for press.
Pressing : Cheese curd is pressed at 10-15 kg/cm2 for 3 hours. During pressing, the cheese is turned in the mould. The cheese is turned and re-pressed overnight and the temperature of the curd is maintained at 15-20°C.
Salting : The cheese is immersed in brine solution (22-25% strength) at 16°C for 2-3 days or 12-14°C for 3-4 days. The coat is allowed to dry off in a warm room.
Ripening : The cheese is allowed to ripen for 3 – 4 weeks at 12-14°C. The cheese rinds are then washed and ready for coating.
Coating : For sale, the cheese may be wrapped in film or foil and ripened for 3 – 8 weeks according to size and temperature of ripening.